Health insurance companies are scrambling to comply with the first round of new rules under the federal health care law.
Those rules that add more benefits go into effect for policies purchased starting Thursday.
The new requirements for health insurance companies include:
- Free preventive care.
- No discrimination against children with pre-existing conditions.
- Children can remain on parents' insurance until age 26.
- No lifetime limits on coverage,
- No more dropping people from coverage when they get sick.
While Democratic supporters on Capitol Hill celebrate, Republicans point to the bill for taxpayers.
"What the American people have told us that they want is to defund, repeal and replace," said Louisiana Congressman Bill Cassidy.
In addition to higher taxes for some, health insurance companies warn that customers should be prepared to pay more for coverage.
"People are going to see higher costs associated with those new benefits as they're required to have more coverage and more people added to policies than previously were," says Robert Zirkelbach, press secretary of America's Health Insurance Plans.
Insurance companies have been working for the past six months since the bill was signed into law to prepare for the changes by investing in new technology and working with hospitals and doctors to try and improve care while containing costs.
More sweeping reforms are set to take effect four years from now.